Mixing baby bantams with adult RIR

Is is necessary for me to build a separate coop??

  • YES

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NO

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Expand the old one

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

fazziobear1

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
88
4
48
Western New York
Hello everyone! I've asked this once before, but the answer I got is not going to work. I currently have four 2 yr old hens. 2 RIR & 2 sex link. They are in a coop with a pretty big run, and I also let them free range whenever I'm outside. (stray cats) The coop without the run measures 6'1"x3'5"...that is also without the extension that has the 4 nest boxes.
I originally had 6 hens & one white silkie roo in there. Our silkie passed (no idea why) and one of the sex links passed this past winter. Again, no idea how. I did have a problem last year with a couple of chickens missing feathers. One on her head & chest, and the other just her chest. I thought maybe mites, so I bought the dusting powder & followed the instructions. Long story short, that didn't help, but she eventually started to grow her feathers back anyways. At one point, I read about chicken cannibalism and thought that might have been it. I did see one pecking at the others once in a while, but it didn't really seem violent at all...
Anyways, the hen that passed was the one that was missing her feathers, but they had almost completely grown back by the time she died, so I am just confused about her death. Our Silkie roo was a serious mystery because he was healthy as can be, and we just found him laying in our run one morning. We checked him for any bites from predators or anything, but nothing!
That said, I am a nervous wreck about introducing my new flock of bantams in with our girls. IMO they are very friendly, but with our mystery deaths, I just don't know. Is our coop large enough to house them all? If not, any ideas on some kid of addition?
They are outside most of the time except for when the weather is in the negatives. The bantam chicks I have are 4 silkies, 1 mottled cochin (?) and 1 Mille Fleur D'uccle (?).
How and when do I introduce them to each other??? I do not want to have to build a second coop if I don't have to. I only have 1/2 acre (& 3 sons)!!! ;-) Speaking of stray cats, there is one in my picture! lol

 

elch

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
52
6
33
You should probably keep them close and separate except when you let them free, until they get used to each other. after that play it by ear. as far as the cats are concerned my adult chickens are a good match to them and the cats don't attack them but that might depend on the type of stray cats in your area.
 
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Tuhmu

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2012
1,460
168
212
North Dakota
You should probably keep them close and separate except when you let them free, until they get used to each other. after that play it by ear. as far as the cats are concerned my adult chickens are a good match to them and the cats don't attack them but that might depend on the type of stray cats in your area.
Agreed. The best thing you can do is set up a look but cant touch fence right next to or in your current coop. You will have to do some expanding though when they are ready to be put in with the big kids. I would wait till they are fully feathered, 4 months, if not longer to mix them though, since bantams have the size disadvantage. (I may be wrong here though, I don't really keep bantams).

Edit - little more accurate time frame
 
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elch

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 2, 2014
52
6
33
Agreed. The best thing you can do is set up a look but cant touch fence right next to or in your current coop. You will have to do some expanding though when they are ready to be put in with the big kids. I would wait till they are fully feathered if not longer to mix them though, since bantams have the size disadvantage. (I may be wrong here though, I don't really keep bantams).
would that depend on how nice a chicken owner he want's to be? (industrial chickens are more cramped than that- were I live legally they only have to have enough room to flap their wings)
 

fazziobear1

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
88
4
48
Western New York
My chickens are my pets. My family eats the eggs, but I still go to the supermarket because I eat white eggs, not brown. (looong story) lol... When they pass, they are buried. We will not be eating any of them. I want them to be comfortable and happy and have no more casualties. If I didn't want to be a nice chicken Mom, I would not have posted here asking advice. With both the deaths of our other chickens, my 5yr old was devastated!!! Our silkie roo was "his" chicken, thats why I just got 4 silkies. They are ALL named Sammie 1, 2, 3, 4..... ;-)
 

Tuhmu

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2012
1,460
168
212
North Dakota
would that depend on how nice a chicken owner he want's to be? (industrial chickens are more cramped than that- were I live legally they only have to have enough room to flap their wings)
I would suppose so, but just because its legally ok doesn't make it OK, you know?
It would be a lot less stressful to not have to deal with the stress of over-cramped chickens.

My chickens are my pets. My family eats the eggs, but I still go to the supermarket because I eat white eggs, not brown. (looong story) lol... When they pass, they are buried. We will not be eating any of them. I want them to be comfortable and happy and have no more casualties. If I didn't want to be a nice chicken Mom, I would not have posted here asking advice. With both the deaths of our other chickens, my 5yr old was devastated!!! Our silkie roo was "his" chicken, thats why I just got 4 silkies. They are ALL named Sammie 1, 2, 3, 4..... ;-)
Since you obviously love them, I would expand their run about double that if not more (what your budget allows that is). You wouldn't necessarily have to have the additional space on the run covered with a roof, you could just do a flight top netting or wire (depending on what kind of predators you are dealing with). I would continue the design you have but just have a wire roof for the addition. More info on that topic can be found here : https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/68858/building-the-ideal-chicken-run/30

If you were to expand, you could have your additional run connected to your existing set up, but not connected, for your bantams till they are big enough to hold their own...then connect them. Then when they are big enough connect the two to make one.

Hope this gives you some ideas!
 
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fazziobear1

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
88
4
48
Western New York
Ok, so what you're saying is that I would only have to expand the run? What about the coop itself? The coop is 6'1"x 3'5", I believe, not including the 4 nesting boxes. Not exactly sure how tall it is, but I'd guess maybe 3-4 ft??? If thats enough space, I could just remodel the inside to accomidate the silkies sleeping quarters. I know my girls roost is up pretty high, so maybe put a board underneath to catch the poop?? Then the silkies can sleep underneath safely without being pooped on. ;)
As for the run, I already bought a 50' roll of chicken wire for that. I wanted to add a space without a roof to give them more sun and hopefully save some of the grass for them. lol (Imagine that!)
Also, I read somewhere about putting sand in the run. Is that ok for them? I want to put something down because since all the grass is gone, they have been digging holes in the dirt & it looks like crap. I keep bringing dirt in to fill the holes, but it only works for about 2 days tops!! Would I have to worry about them eating it and messing up their digestive track or anything like that?
 

Tuhmu

Songster
7 Years
May 22, 2012
1,460
168
212
North Dakota
For their coop, it depends on where you live. If you have a mild or no winter at all I think it would be fine since they would just be in there to sleep and lay eggs. If you live in the second coldest part of the world like myself, where they would have to play inside all day, it would probably be a good idea to do some expanding there. Though if you have it in your budget and are not the opposite of bob the builder (like myself) it would be great to make the coop bigger.

The poop board is a good idea to help make clean up easier, but once your silkies are accepted by the flock, they will probably want to snuggle up there with the rest.

I've heard that sand is great stuff for on the run. I personally don't have it in there yet but I plan to this summer as I'm also not a fan of the barren wasteland within. Going to see if I can get some plants, like rose bushes or possibly a tree growing in there. Will have to be fenced off for awhile till it grows out of reach, but if it works, it should brighten up the place some.
 
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